Every three days this can be found in the backyard.  I have mentioned before that Lucy wears cloth diapers.  What I failed to include is why.  Why it took me months before I finally gave in.  Why what seems so "green" and "trendy" right now is not one of my favorite things.  She wears cloth because her buns are allergic to a compound that is in every single disposable diaper.  Trust me.  I tried them all.  I tried every cream, every remedy, every thing possible to avoid this.  My sweetie endured months of bleeding rashes before her selfish mom gave in.  Now don't get me wrong.  I have great respect for the earth, I do tons of other things every single day to cause it less harm.  I just didn't feel all too bad about using disposables.  But it is what it is.  Now I have gotten in a rhythm and have a great system.  Washing them isn't so horrible.  They are very soft, safe and super cute.  I also love the fact that I haven't spent a penny on diapers in over a year.  That is bunches of money.  But I also pridefully was convinced that Lucy would be potty trained by her second birthday.  That day has come and gone.  She simply is not ready.  It took just one tearful and maddening day to figure that out.  She didn't get the memo.  Her Fuzzi Bunz are just fine with her.

I mainly wanted her out of diapers because of the sheer volume of traveling we are doing this summer.  Mainly because it is a cruise ship rule that any child who is not potty trained cannot go to any activities or swim in any pool.  My little adventurous fish will have to sit and watch as all of her cousins swim and hang out with the adults as the kids go to the fun activities on the ship.  I moaned, groaned and complained about this fact for weeks when I realized the potty training wasn't happening.  Little by little my heart began to change.  My little Lulu has never had me all to herself.  In a few months when the new baby comes my time will be even more divided.  I am making the choice to look at this as a true blessing.  That I get to spend hours with my sweet girl alone.  Give her the attention that Halley got for the first two years of her life.  I can sacrifice my free time to pour into her wild and tender heart.  I simply cannot wait.  There is nothing I look forward to more.  No other time in her life will she have all of me.  I am planning to savor every second.
What I am not planning on doing is bringing the cloth diapers with me.  I am planning on using this entire tub of Butt Paste and hope for the best.

With little notice I had to bring a plate of homemade cookies to an event.  I went to my favorite recipe for help.  It is a miracle they even made it out of my house, I wanted to stay home and eat them by myself.
You will need a mini muffin pan, Reese's Minatures, and ready to bake peanut butter cookie dough.
If your cookie dough makes 24 you are all set to go.  If it makes 12 big cookies like the one I bought you need to break apart each cookie so you get 24 pieces of dough.  Just place them in the muffin cups.  Bake it for about 5 minutes LESS than the directions say.  You need the cookies to be gooey when they come out of the oven.
While they are cooking unwrap 24 Reese's cups.  They need to be lined up and ready to go because the next step has to be really quick.  When they are unwrapped walk away.  Trust me, if you stay in the kitchen they will start disappearing.  Go check your email, read my blog, etc.
As soon as you pull the cookies out of the oven push a Reese's in each cookie.  Since the cookies are still gooey the Reese's will fit in nicely.  Let the cookies cool while still in the muffin tin.  The cookies will cook a little bit more while they sit.  When they are cooled pop them out and try not to eat them all.  Enjoy! 


As a 1930s wife, I am

Take the test!

I didn't do too well on this quiz. Too much pajama wearing, not enough cooking breakfast. But if I got up at the same time as Jason he couldn't watch Sports Center in peace or make my coffee to put it in the freezer.
Glad that I am not a 1930's wife! Glad that I have a early rising, cereal loving, coffee making husband who buys me the pajamas that I lost points for wearing!

I really miss you.  I miss your addictive poison.  I miss that you will make "my bones turn black" according to an eleven year old.  I hate that you call to me every time I see a soda fountain.  But it has been six months and I can survive our separation.  I have quit you before.  I will probably quit you again.  But for now I am spending some quality time with my new B.F.F. iced tea.  Take care and enjoy harming those whose lives still have room for you.  

This is Halley's Bible.  I have repaired it nearly a dozen times.  Packing tape, scotch tape, hot glue gun, you name it.  But there are two things you don't know.  It isn't poorly made.  She isn't hard on her books.  In fact, if there is a tiny tear on a page of any book she literally will break down in tears until it is fixed.  She loves order and neatness.  This Bible looks like this because it is well read and well loved.  Each nap and bedtime we read her a story from it.  When she wakes up she looks through it in her bed until we come and get her.  It is her most treasured possession.  She can't read, yet she knows all of the stories.  We have had it less than a year and have already read through it twice.  I really wish I could say the same for my Bible.  I read through it in entirety once.  In 2002.  I wish I started each morning waking up, grabbing it and soaking it in before I faced the day.  I wish my Bible looked this bad.  I can only imagine how much different my life would look.

Thank you so much for the quilt encouragement.  I am going to make them.  Two of them.  I am also going to put Sandi Henderson's children through college with the amount of fabric I ordered.  Halley's is going to be from the Ginger Blossom line and Lulu's is going to be from the Farmer's Market goodness.  I love how the two lines mix but aren't too matchy-matchy.  My girls are the most opposite you could imagine, and I see Halley's girly-ness in the vintage G.B.  and Lulu's funky spunk in the F.M.  I think I am going to paint the walls a sassy lime to coordinate.  Now I can't wait for my mailman to bring me the zillion yards of twenty four different prints!

My crafty friend Tristen just  got her hands on a old rustic ladder.  She wondered if I had any suggestions for it's use.  I had one in my old house with plants on it (pretty standard), but wanted to find a different purpose.  A one minute search through Flickr and look at this brilliant idea!  My bookshelf currently holds my sewing supplies and all of my poor books are stuffed in a cabinet in the garage.  I really want to this!  Now all I have to do is go to my old house and ask the new owners to give my ladder back...  and then find a wall to hang it on.

Is this not the yummiest quilt you ever did see?  Well, sadly I did not win it from among the 20,000 some entries, but it got my mind spinning.  I have not been able to stop thinking about it since laying eyes on it.  I don't quilt, and really never planned to due to my impatience and supreme lack of perfectionism, but I am feeling that changing.  All I have to say that if I ever do make this quilt, you had better bet that I will not be giving it away!  Honestly, the creator of it is my new favorite person.  On a whim, I emailed her asking what pattern she used to make it.  I really didn't expect an answer.  Within hours she emailed me back and although she didn't use a pattern, she wrote out simple, clear, step by step instructions.  Who does that?  I have trouble even responding to emails from my friends and family.  I am inspired both to take this new project on as well as be a better email returner.  I hope I can conquer at least one of those goals in the next month or so.  I really want to make two, one for each of my girls in their new bedroom and then paint and decorate around it.  Am I crazy?

Wow!  There are a lot of you with love for the Ped Egg.  I have a feeling that it might just make its way into my cart next time I am at Target.  Shave those ugly callouses into the trash!
Okay, so I have to admit that most of the time I am a team player.  But I am being the party pooper now and have to confess it.  Later on this summer we are going on a Disney cruise with all of Jason's family.  They got together and bought matching Disney t-shirts.  The nieces are wearing their Minnie Mouse costumes and the nephews are wearing Mickey Mouse ones.  I made little Minnie flip flops for the nieces, since they have all outgrown their Minnie shoes and I made myself a pair too.  Don't laugh!  It is my small concession to have some Disney spirit since I just can't bring myself to wear a matching t-shirt.  How horrible am I?  I usually dress super simply, almost always in solid colors and I don't think I have worn a silkscreened shirt since swim meets in high school.  So I am going to be the dork in the family pictures, with my red tank top, black skirt and toddler looking flip flops, completely different than the rest of the family.  Would you disown me?  (Jason isn't wearing one either, so we both are lame!)

Okay, so I have to admit that spending all of my days barefoot or in flip flops has done little to make my feet soft and pretty.  I nearly put this violent-looking foot grater in my cart every time I am at Target, but I am actually too scared to use it.  Have you seen the commercial where the lady empties it out into the trash can.  Yuck!
My mom cut out this article from the newspaper for me as an alternative.  You can take your calloused feet to a nail salon in Alexandria, VA and these little "doctor fish" will lovingly nibble off all of your dead skin.  For THIRTY minutes!  I am freaking out even imagining one minute in the tub with these guys.  I am thinking that the PedEgg doesn't sound so bad anymore!
I think I am just going to stick to lotion and keep my creepy feet.  

I was tagged twice, so I decided to give away two Faith signs. Fancy that!

The winners are:  Lipstick and Laundry and Michelle from Hello Cupcake.
Here's a little bit about me:
A.  Attached or single?  Attached.
B.  Best friend?  Jason.
C.  Cake or pie?  Cake.  Always.  Cupcakes, even better.
D.  Day of Choice?  Monday. (Jason's day off and dinner every week with our best friends.)
E.  Essential Item?  Flip flops, Burt's Bees, coffee.
F.  Favorite color?  Turquoise.
G.  Gummy bears or worms?  Bears, if they are covered in chocolate.
H.  Hometown?  Tustin, CA.
I.  Favorite indulgence?  Ben & Jerry's or Haagen Daz.
J.  January or July?  Love January.
K.  Kids?  Three with Jesus, two with us and one on the way.
L.  Life isn't complete without?  Jesus.   
M.  Marriage Date?  September 12, 1998.
N.  Number of brothers and sisters?  One brother.
O.  Oranges or apples?  Oranges.
P.  Phobias?  Sharks and popsicle sticks.
Q.  Quotes?  The Bible.
R.  Reasons to smile?  My family and my friends.
S.  Season of choice?  Winter.  The colder the better.
T.  Tag 5 people:  Meg, Marcela, Joy, Lindsey & Alexandra 
U.  Unknown fact about me?  I can't sleep with my feet covered.
W.  Worst habit?  Biting my nails.  Ewww.
X.  X-ray or ultrasound?  Silly question... ultrasound.
Y.  Your favorite food?  Chocolate and peanut butter.
Z.  Zodiac sign?  I think they are meaningless.    

I have been on the look out for something I could accomplish while plopped on the couch catching up on my Tivo.  While looking for another book on Amazon it recommended the book Sublime Stitching.  How can Mr. Amazon computer read my mind?  It tells me "you also might like this..." and I say... "well, actually I do!  How kind of you to suggest it.  And thanks for the free super saver shipping too!"  As soon as it arrived I went over to my mom's house and borrowed (stole forever) all of her neatly organized embroidery thread, hoops, needles and scissors.  I then grabbed some of the girls clothes and started stitching.  I promise you, the book makes it soooo easy and gives you the most fun and funky iron on patterns!  I fully admit to having no patience whatsoever and questioned if I could even stand the slow, quiet craft.  But after an episode of Project Runway, and two skirts nearly finished, I am hooked.  Off to find some more things to pretty up!

It is Jason's birthday!  Last night we celebrated with all of the extended family at the beach.  Hard to think of anything better than pizza, cupcakes and silly party glasses.
My poor guy is in denial about the number of packages that show up on our doorstep.  He was shocked to see that one actually came for him.  Our dear friend Amy who is on an Alaskan cruise right now (lucky girl) sent him a ginormous coconut treat from Pink Cupcakes.  Don't be fooled by the girly pink exterior.  
Inside the box was a man-sized cupcake.  I had to fight him for some.  Good thing we opened it during naptime.  No extra mouths begging for a bite!
Halley ended the day with her favorite pajamas.  She has the I heart Mom ones too, but they don't get much wear.  (Can you hear me crying in the background?)  She even put them on while Jason was in Mexico "so Daddy will come home to us."

Happy Birthday Jason!  We love you!

I have always been fond of the whimsical and magical seahorse.  They seem to be straight out of a fairy tale, not a real creature that lives in the ocean.  A recent fabulous fact I just learned from the book Mister Seahorse (beautifully illustrated by the Hungry Caterpillar's Eric Carle) is the daddy seahorse carries the eggs until they hatch.  I love that the slacker mom has it all figured out.  Please sign me up for that plan!
I just had to get this sweet little scrabble tile pendant from Home Studio.
Notice the same paper from the tubs adorning this funky guy from Damboise Designs.
Today's naptime craft took this sweet, yet permanently stained white dress from the play clothes drawer into regular dress rotation.  You can find the pattern and a great machine applique tutorial here.  

The evil flu is making its round through this house, so as I consume my 6th Otter Pop of the day (basically the only thing keeping me alive) I will share some pics from a little getaway Jason and I took last week.
We have never left the kids overnight before, and Jason's parents booked us a night at a quaint beachfront hotel for our birthdays.  Above is the view from our room.  Nothing beats sleeping to the sound of waves crashing.
The grounds were pretty and the hotel was pretty "retro", but the scenery and beach air made up for it.  The girls had a great time sleeping over at their grandparents house and we ate great meals and relaxed.
We had to play a game of checkers before we left.  As I was playing and Jason was letting me win (such mercy) my brain was trying to think of where I could paint my own shell checkerboard.
Off to Lysol and Clorox wipe the heck out of this germy house and to get yet another Otter Pop.

I can't remember the last time we stayed home for an entire day.  The first thing out of Lucy's mouth every morning is "where we going?" and she gets pretty stressed out if I don't have an answer.  A hazard of being on the go is I seem to be packing and unpacking bags multiple times a day.  I don't bother picking up while they are awake (futile) so I make a full sweep of the house, car and diaper bags at nap and bed time.  I was tiring of the piles in front of their doors and decided to come up with some sort of system to appear less cluttered until they woke up and I could put everything away in their rooms.
I found these tubs in the paint section at Lowes for $9.98 each and got out some scrapbook paper and my trusty Modge Podge.  You will need about 5 sheets per tub and I wouldn't recommend using cardstock, it isn't flexible enough to go around the ridges. Don't be shy about the Modge Podge either, you need gobs and gobs under and on top of the paper to get it to stick and not bubble or peel.  If I could go back I think I would have spray painted the inside of the tubs a funky turquoise, the silver is a bit too shiny, but I suppose all of the girls debris will cover that in no time.
Here are the finished products.  I really love them and want to paper up some more for other storage, or even serving pieces.  How cute would it be in matching paper for a party?
Lulu took the term "tub" literally and took a little bath with her baby doll.  Clutter problem solved for about $20 in one hour.  Can't complain about that!

I am simply overwhelmed by all of your sweet comments and support.  I have to be transparent and admit that pregnancy is not easy for me.  Emotionally or physically.  I know most of you haven't heard my story, or even where the name of this blog or my Etsy shop came from.  God has placed it on my heart to share the journey we have taken the past 7 years, but it is difficult for me to imagine even articulating it.  Little by little over the next few weeks I will share where I have been and how far the Lord has brought me in faith and trust as I embark on what is my sixth pregnancy.  I have faced stillbirth, miscarriages and infertility, yet am laying this baby at the feet of Jesus and fully expecting Him to carry me through the next 25 weeks.  Without Him I am unable to even parent my girls, much less stay sane enough to survive growing this new little one.  I humbly ask for your prayer that God gives me the words to say and the strength to share....
Hard to transition from that, but Halley's Little Mermaid phase has been trumped by Snow White.  She has had a crazy growth spurt recently and seemingly overnight outgrew all of her favorite princess shoes that her sweet aunt gave her.  I simply can't throw down for a whole new set and she was batting her eyes and giving me lots of "pretty pleases" for some new Snow White shoes.  During her nap I got out her red flip flops, dug through my ribbon and fabric stash and within 30 minutes for zero dollars I came up with these:
The bottlecaps are from Wal-mart.  I wasn't sure if she would wear them, if the ribbons would bug her, but she hasn't taken them off since.  I think these would make a fabulous birthday gift or even party favor.  Flip flops are super cheap and who doesn't have ribbon laying around needing a use.  I found directions at Polka Dot Birthday on how to make them.  Happy flip flopping!

While I was searching for a birthday gift for my sweet British friend I found this necklace inspired by a WWII poster.  It seemed perfect for her and just about any other person I could think of.  I feel like two weeks of being apart from my husband coupled with the day to day chores of life I have needed a gentle reminder to "Keep calm and carry on."  You can find your own over at Home Studio where they come in many gorgeous colors all guaranteed to help you through your most harried of days... British or not.

I sometimes wonder how two girls raised in the same house with the same parents and same rules can be so vastly different.  Lucy will happily try pretty much any food, while Halley would gladly starve if given the opportunity.  I found a great idea from Sycamore Stirrings called Muffin Tin Mondays.  My goal was to get Halley to push her idea of "edible food" while it was served to her in her own fun tin in very small portions.

I decided to try it out a breakfast today and the new food was kiwi.  Shockingly, kiwi has the ability to put her over the edge.  Imagine if I tried something really adventurous.  She would be in counseling for weeks.  The other foods were:  gummy vitamins, dried cranberries, strawberry yogurt, honeydew, pretzel goldfish, pineapple, bowtie noodles, chicken chunks, a mini carrot cake muffin, cheese and strawberries.  
Lulu dug right in, actually trying the kiwi first and asking for more.  Halley went into a full blown panic that the kiwi was even on her tray.  "Mom!!!!!  I don't like pickles!!!!!!" was all I could hear.  In her opinion kiwis are the same as pickles.  No amount of convincing could change her mind.  I had her try a tiny piece and you would of thought I fed her poison.  Well... it's a start.
I am not giving up.  She ate what she ate, when the evil kiwis were removed peace was restored and they both asked for more meals in the "cupcake cookers".  If anyone has tips for the dramatic eaters please send them my way.  We were at a wedding this weekend and during the best man's toast she tried a sip of Martinellis.  Instantly she screamed bloody murder and spit it all over Jason and the people next to us.  Who doesn't like Martinellis?  Let's just say the videographer is going to have to do some creative editing on that part of the evening.

Here is a shot from our youth group's recent Mission to Mexico trip where they built two homes for very deserving families.  As we hand the keys to the family we pray over them and their home.  After my first trip I was never the same, I wish I had such an opportunity when I was still a teenager.  I chose this verse to meditate on today, since the Lord is the most important part of any home.

A house is built by wisdom
and becomes strong by good sense.
Through knowledge its rooms are filled
with all sorts of precious riches and
Proverbs 24:3-4

I have great respect for gift bags.  I think they are easy and quite beautiful.  I however simply cannot make myself use them. How many times have you opened a gift from a gift bag and awkwardly wondered if there might be something else hidden in the tissue paper.  If you check and there is nothing, you look greedy, like the original gift was inadequate, but if you don't check then the gift giver has to tell you to keep looking.  I also have zero storage to keep them in, and to be honest, I often don't want to spend the extra $3 - $5 to buy one, much less the inevitable $50 I will spend just by walking into Target.  So, I wrap all gifts I give the old school way.  Sometimes I have fun paper, but mostly I use brown packaging paper with beautiful ribbon.  Add a gorgeous tag, like the ones at Lemon Tree, One Ripe Peach, Little Bit Funky, or Jane Says, and your simply wrapped gift will be a present in itself.  I buy my ribbon online in 100yd. spools and I always have black, chocolate, red, pink and aqua on hand to cover all gift giving situations.  You won't be able to buy ribbon at the store after you see the prices here or here.  Get your scissors and tape out and wrap something the old school way.

Okay, so the new design stays.  For a bit at least.  Thank you to everyone for their (honest, I hope) opinions.  I totally agree that the two flowers on the side are it's main downfall, especially how they touch the writing on the left side.  But for now I like the change.  I am on a long waiting list here to get this whole mess redesigned anyway, so when that happens it will be a happy day!
I watched Jon & Kate Plus 8 the other day and they made Monkey Munch.  I remember it as Puppy Chow or Trash and used to make it for my college bible study.  I thought it would be fun to make and I actually used Crispix (crispy times two) instead and changed to white chocolate chips (which actually made it way too sweet, so stick with the regular chocolate) so Halley could eat some.  (She is allergic to chocolate.  Is that not the most cruel allergy?)  But, let me just warn you, DO NOT MAKE THIS unless 20 or so hungry non-dieting friends are seconds away from your house.  If not, you will be stuck with way too much yummy-ness and you physically will be unable to remove your hand from the bowl.  Trust me, it's not pretty.  Click on the photo to see it full size and to read the recipe better.
I just wanted to share some of our favorite summer toys, all which I think make fabulous birthday presents.  All three have been given to us as gifts and the girls use them every single day.  This is our third summer with the water table and I love it more and more every day.  I set it up under an umbrella outside our kitchen window.  The girls play, splash and pour and I am able to clean the kitchen and make lunch without  worrying about them drowning.  I have seen it at Target, Wal-Mart and Toys R Us and is worth every penny.
Aquadoodle is a great year round toy, perfect for road trips too.  No mess, and really easy for little hands to draw with.  Oh, and is anyone else's kids obsessed with band-aids?  Halley finds the tiniest little scratch or dot and is inconsolable until it is band-aided up.  The Nexcare tattoo ones are amazing and they don't fall off.  They are also the only kind that don't irritate her eczema prone skin.  
Halley is going through a Little Mermaid phase right now and she got this little cutie for her birthday.  You push a button on her back and Ariel swims through the water.  She has been in the ocean, the pool, the tub, the sink, the water table, my coffee cup,  and Bass Lake and keeps on kicking her fin along.  If only Halley would want to swim along....

So, along with my craft A.D.D. comes the desire to learn something new and then completely abandon it.  I have wanted to try digital scrapbooking for some time, but was a bit overwhelmed and still don't have Photoshop.  Thus, it was put on the A.D.D. list for the future.  I saw an ad for a site that doesn't require Photoshop, is free, easy and posts directly to your blog.  I tried it out, loved it, was sure that I was hooked for life, and assumed that it would publish what I made just like a regular picture.  I am not too sure about the way it came out.  I don't like the slideshow thingy, I suppose since I am so impatient I hate waiting for something to load.  So here is my try at it.  I fear it might just bug me too bad, thinking of people waiting for it to load and I might delete it.  Click here to give it a try for yourself.  If anyone has experience in digital scrapbooking and has some tips let me know... I think I am getting Photoshop soon and might make it my craft of the week.

My family has been going to Bass Lake (outside of Yosemite, CA) since the 1930's.  My dad spent summers there, my best childhood memories are from there, Jason has been going there since we got married and now our kids are enjoying it every year.  This year my parents got a big cabin for us all to share.  Jason couldn't go (boo hoo) because he was speaking at the Saddleback Worship Conference and launching his book (yay!)  So the girls and I headed on the road and I hoped for 8 hours of driving peace and happiness.  (Do multiple time outs on the side of the 99 count?  Because if you have ever driven thorough Cali on the 99 you know that it is not really paradise.  Just saying.  The naughty chair travels with us too.  And it gets lots of use.  Mama can only take so much.)
This is the temp on the way.  Hottest day in the universe!  What would I do without air conditioning?

Because I didn't plan better I had to get gas at this station.  Oops.

Took a hike and found some gorgeous giant Sequoias.  No camera in the world could accurately capture how big they are.
Lulu really wanted to keep this ginormous pine cone.  My science teacher/enviromentalist brother made us leave it.  She was really sad until we saw a baby garter snake and the pine cone was forgotten.
This is where they sat all day.  The water is really shallow so I didn't have to worry about them drowning.  They played together every day and I actually found myself relaxing.  How cute are these suits from Target?  Love them.  I brought my sewing machine and a bunch of projects that needed finishing, but never took it out of the case.  I caught up on my magazines, read two big books and just enjoyed doing nothing.  I rarely let myself do that, so it was a welcome treat.

Speaking of treats, Amy is the winner of the Starbucks pound.  She also had the horror of going to get coffee only to find out the machine was broken.  She said it is like "an ice cream truck being out of ice cream."  Or like the time I went to Del Taco for a burrito and they were out of beans.  Really?  Out of beans?